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Friday, August 11, 2006

The Complete Ivory by Doris Egan. Science fiction/fantasy.

This is an omnibus of the Ivory trilogy of science fiction/fantasy novels.
  • ***** The Gate of Ivory.
    This first book introduces Theodora of Pyrene. An Athenian scholar, with no family (as is the norm on Pyrene and Athena), used to science and logic, she's stranded on Ivory, where families are all-important, and magic is real. She's working as a fortune teller to earn enough for transport back to Athena, when she gets a job offer from soceror Ran Cormallon, head of the influential Cormallon family. Unfortunately, she doesn't discover until too late that the position has some pretty serious strings attached, and that the last person who held the job was killed.

  • ***** Two-Bit Heroes.
    In the second book, Theodora and Ran are beginning the 4-month-long marriage process (an interesting concept), when they're offered a job checking out a prospective bridegroom. The simple task turns into something much different when they're kidnapped by outlaws and end up helping in Ivory's brand of rebellion.

  • ***** Guilt-Edged Ivory.
    In the last book, Ran's sister Kylla is distraught because her husband is being pressured to take another wife, which leads to worry for Theo as well, because of uncertainty about her and Ran's fertility. Then the prospective bride's brother is killed by sorcery, and Ran is the number one suspect.
All three stories are full of humor and action, yet there are also serious topics, mostly arising from the culture clash between Ivory and the more science-based societies. It's interesting that each side refers to the other as "barbarians." The worldbuilding is complete, the characters three-dimensional and engaging, and each story takes the characters a bit further in their personal journey.

I don't remember who recommended this trilogy, but whoever it was: thank-you.


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